|As your trusted vet team, we want to reassure you that when we recommend a dental treatment and cleaning for your pet, it’s because we think they’ll really benefit from it!
Good dental condition is so important for your pet’s quality of life and their general health.
What is dental disease?
Classic “dental disease” refers to the disease process that occurs when teeth aren’t regularly brushed. It starts with a build-up of plaque – a gooey film containing bacteria – on the surface of your pet’s teeth. If it isn’t cleaned off, plaque then turns to tartar – a hard brown layer stuck firmly to your pet’s teeth. This traps bacteria, which leads to inflammation and infection of the surrounding gum and jaw tissue (periodontal disease), eventually causing permanent damage to teeth and gums.
What does dental disease look like?
Dental disease appears as:
Why should we prevent periodontal disease?
Periodontal disease causes permanent damage to your pet’s gum tissue, which eventually leads to the loss of affected teeth. The associated inflammation and infection are also painful for your pet, over months to years. If you’ve ever had dental pain, you’ll know just how much this can affect you!
Infection in the mouth can also release bacteria into the bloodstream, affecting the health of distant organs such as the heart, kidneys and liver.
Lastly, if your pet has a clean mouth, it’s going to make any cuddles and licks from them a lot more pleasant (and less smelly!) for you.
How do we treat early dental disease?
When treated early a build up of plaque and tartar can be removed without causing permenant damage to the tooth or surrounding gum. To be done safely and effectively a dental clean is performed under general anaesthesia. The enables us to expertly assess the tooth both above and below the gum line as well as on the inside of the tooth which cannot otherwise be examined. After a full assessment we perform a dental scale using an ultrasonic scaler the same as what your dentist uses. This ensures that the tartar can be removed without scraping or damaging the important enamel. Once cleaned the tooth surface is polished to smooth the surface.
When done early and in some cases regularly a dental clean and scale will slow down and stop the progression of more severe dental disease, and is why we will recommend this in the early stages, because once the damage is done it cannot be reversed.
For the future, we highly recommend that you find out how to check your pet’s teeth at home so that you can identify any concerns early, before it is too late. A health check-up for every pet every 6-12 months, where (among other things) we can check their dental health is also very important!